Tonight's episode had me giddy for multiple reasons. Much like my favorite episode of Firefly "Jaynestown," "Chuck Vs. The Angel Of Death" involved Adam Baldwin sneaking around, fearful that someone would recognize him; and his reputation, this time for evil deeds, is one his closest confidants again know nothing about. But also that first scene—the beginnings of Devon and Ellie's relationship, in a broom closet, day one of med school—promised to shine some welcome light on the rest of Chuck's family.
To that point, I say: Welcome to the fold, Captain Awesome. Since he's the only one who knows about Chuck's secret life, it was only a matter of time before he wanted to get involved somehow, and it looks like that's shaking out to be a lot like how Chuck was in earlier seasons. Devon bugs those in the "know" about what's going on, weasels his way along for the ride, then inadvertently trips things up for the rest of the team. (I guess the difference being that in real life, Devon is way smoother than Chuck, as evidenced by first a scene of Devon swirling in a chair and surprising Chuck, followed by Chuck trying the same thing and adding, "Sorry bro, didn't mean to scare you." Devon's response: "You didn't.")
It starts when The Premier from Costa Gravas, a country just about to enter into democratic elections, is the target of an assassination plot and sent to the hospital. Chuck and the team need to defend him without him knowing—he's wary of the US, rightfully so—and it so happens that Devon is the doctor on call who saves the man's life. Devon's invited to The Premier's black tie affair that night, and Chuck weasles himself an invitation so he and Sarah can monitor the event and counter any attempts on The Premier's life, be they from stray knives, blow torches, or deadly eggings. Casey waits in the car because, well, it seems he and The Premier have a sordid history, to the tune of Casey trying to kill him three times and failing. The proceedings play out like we've come to expect from a Chuck episode: A possible threat is spotted, Chuck and Sarah "need to get across the dance floor" (ha!), Chuck's new and improved Intersect gives him the moves to make it happen, and it turns out the guy isn't really the bad guy; Casey is forced to come in wearing a ridiculous mustache, Devon sees his gun and tries to be heroic and takes him out, and the real assassin escapes; Casey is captured. Later, much like the Chuck episodes of yore, the awkward one (Devon) redeems himself by helping the team complete the mission and save their friend's life.
Chuck can feel formulaic, which is why it was nice to witness everything happening this time through Devon's eyes, be it his "badass" description of The Castle (a rare blue moment for him) or his puppy dog-like sad face watching Ellie dance with The Premier, resulting in the outburst that takes Casey down. Devon also provides some perspective on Chuck's life, prying into what parts of his and Sarah's relationship were actually real, then concluding at the end of the episode's craziness that he "doesn't want to give up half my real life" like a spy would. In short, it was great having Captain Awesome around for a foundation-laying, if not groundbreaking episode of Chuck.
Then all of a sudden… holy crap. I can't wait for next week. That conclusion was heartwrenching. Wow.
- This was also perhaps the first episode not to feature the Buy More or its employees in any way, yet there was plenty of levity: the general teleconferencing in wearing a cocktail dress, plus wonderful Casey-isms like "Let's get outta this stinkin' banana republic" and making a bet for 1,000 pesos cashed in with "You owe me 15 American cents."
- You might recognize the assassin from another NBC show: He plays Joseph on Heroes. I hope you don't recognize him, because that means you don't watch that show.
- I will be thinking about Sarah in that nurse's uniform holding a gun for, I dunno, a loooong time.